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  • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post


    This is the question every one asks.

    How can this happen with highly skilled pilots using sophisticated equipment that they crash into mountains or trees !!!
    You would be surely surprised to hear that it is not uncommon at all. Watching a Youtube channel that documents flight crashes over the last 60 years you will find few due to a purely mechanical issue. Most mechanical issues were due to a maintenance personnel mistakes during a repair. Leaving out a seal, not following the repair instructions in the manual, and other stupid stuff. Those numbers pale in comparison to pilot error. Not qualified to fly IFR, ignoring cockpit warnings because they thought they knew better, losing situational awareness, careless mistakes like bumping the stick and knocking off the autopilot, and on and on.

    One I saw last night which I recall back then but have now heard the NSTB report. Mechanic error.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter...nes_Flight_855

    Pilot error here. Heard the cockpit recordings and the Tower Control. Tower gives clearance for runway 22 several times. Meanwhile the pilot repeats as he lines up on runway 26 which is marked as such. There was non-flight related talk in the cabin during this.His mistake killed 49 people and left one survivor. There were some other issues with staffing in the control tower that didn't help. However, the pilot should have made it his duty to be aware of the airport layout before getting into the plane. Taking off is serious and the Tower needs to pay attention to watching the pilot and the pilot needs to pay attention to watching the Control Tower so no mistakes either way. Today the airport has the main runway, 22, separate from runway, now 27, so not taxi mistakes.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comair_Flight_5191

    Comment


    • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
      Sounds very much like the air crash that killed Kobi Bryant and his daughter
      Kobi's chopper wasn't half as good as the ones these two generals had

      Comment


      • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

        You would be surely surprised to hear that it is not uncommon at all. Watching a Youtube channel that documents flight crashes over the last 60 years you will find few due to a purely mechanical issue. Most mechanical issues were due to a maintenance personnel mistakes during a repair. Leaving out a seal, not following the repair instructions in the manual, and other stupid stuff. Those numbers pale in comparison to pilot error. Not qualified to fly IFR, ignoring cockpit warnings because they thought they knew better, losing situational awareness, careless mistakes like bumping the stick and knocking off the autopilot, and on and on.

        One I saw last night which I recall back then but have now heard the NSTB report. Mechanic error.
        This would be a surprise if it were true. The helicopter was top of the range and Mi-17's are used by 60 militaries around the world. We have over 200 of them. There have been accidents over the years. But not mechanical. Mostly pilot error or bad weather conditions.

        These are military grade aircraft and very capable of handling those weather conditions. Ground sensing radar, Obstacle avoidance instruments. The works.

        There was no mechanical fault with the Taiwanese Generals helicopter and i expect this to hold true in the case of the Indian Chief of Defense

        Maintenance issues is the last thing you expect for aircraft flying top staff

        Another thing i learnt is helis are safer than planes. If the engine loses power, descent is still possible in a somewhat controlled manner.

        The rotors will spin to slow the descent. There will be a bumpy landing but possibly survivable.

        Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easter...nes_Flight_855

        Pilot error here. Heard the cockpit recordings and the Tower Control. Tower gives clearance for runway 22 several times. Meanwhile the pilot repeats as he lines up on runway 26 which is marked as such. There was non-flight related talk in the cabin during this.His mistake killed 49 people and left one survivor. There were some other issues with staffing in the control tower that didn't help. However, the pilot should have made it his duty to be aware of the airport layout before getting into the plane. Taking off is serious and the Tower needs to pay attention to watching the pilot and the pilot needs to pay attention to watching the Control Tower so no mistakes either way. Today the airport has the main runway, 22, separate from runway, now 27, so not taxi mistakes.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comair_Flight_5191
        This deals with lack of familiarity of the pilot with the airports layout.

        I'm expecting pilot error but not for this reason. An error in judgement. Went ahead and hit a tree because the fog was so dense.

        So how could that happen ? the helicopter was on the decent phase of the trip. Not exactly near but past the trip's halfway point. Still, not a reason to be flying low.

        This happened at mid day. Foggy conditions so not clear but otherwise nothing remarkable. A routine flight to a training college. A trip made many times before.

        Eye witness reports said they saw the heli hover in the air then disappear into the fog and next they heard a crash.

        Why it was hovering is unclear. Something was spotted and they were adjusting maybe.

        People want an escort for these trips. One goes ahead and is then followed.

        That is harder to do in practice but with people as important. We can't lose them.
        Last edited by Double Edge; 14 Dec 21,, 13:43.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post

          Kobi's chopper wasn't half as good as the ones these two generals had
          Talking about the environmental conditions.

          I really understand how weather impacts flying. The OH-58A had an issue with losing tail rotor effectiveness in a tail wind. I found out, painfully, in FEB 86 when the 58 I was in was doing pop ups from behind trees to find the approaching OPFOR. One moment I was looking through binos, the next I was looking at the ground through side window with a broken ankle.
          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
          Mark Twain

          Comment


          • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
            This would be a surprise if it were true. The helicopter was top of the range and Mi-17's are used by 60 militaries around the world. We have over 200 of them. There have been accidents over the years. But not mechanical. Mostly pilot error or bad weather conditions.

            These are military grade aircraft and very capable of handling those weather conditions. Ground sensing radar, Obstacle avoidance instruments. The works.

            There was no mechanical fault with the Taiwanese Generals helicopter and i expect this to hold true in the case of the Indian Chief of Defense

            Maintenance issues is the last thing you expect for aircraft flying top staff

            Another thing i learnt is helis are safer than planes. If the engine loses power, descent is still possible in a somewhat controlled manner.

            The rotors will spin to slow the descent. There will be a bumpy landing but possibly survivable.


            This deals with lack of familiarity of the pilot with the airports layout.

            I'm expecting pilot error but not for this reason. An error in judgement. Went ahead and hit a tree because the fog was so dense.

            So how could that happen ? the helicopter was on the decent phase of the trip. Not exactly near but past the trip's halfway point. Still, not a reason to be flying low.

            This happened at mid day. Foggy conditions so not clear but otherwise nothing remarkable. A routine flight to a training college. A trip made many times before.

            Eye witness reports said they saw the heli hover in the air then disappear into the fog and next they heard a crash.

            Why it was hovering is unclear. Something was spotted and they were adjusting maybe.

            People want an escort for these trips. One goes ahead and is then followed.

            That is harder to do in practice but with people as important. We can't lose them.
            I never said it was a mechanical error nor a specific pilot error. I simply gave examples of such errors and could go on listing more of them if you want but felt that I had already got my point across without going overboard. Do I need to go overboard?

            Granted these pilots no doubt had thousands of hours in the type and should be well trained in IFR flying and well aware of what losing situational awareness is. By the way do you understand how one can lose situational awareness in the fog? You have no horizon, you bank right, the hairs in your vestibular canals report to your brain that you are still flying straight, so you bank more to the right. On and on into a "death" spiral without you knowing. Kobe's pilot probably did that. JFK, Jr. no doubt did that. Your average civilian pilot should never fly in bad weather but I would expect a trained military pilot to do better, much better.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

              Talking about the environmental conditions.

              I really understand how weather impacts flying. The OH-58A had an issue with losing tail rotor effectiveness in a tail wind. I found out, painfully, in FEB 86 when the 58 I was in was doing pop ups from behind trees to find the approaching OPFOR. One moment I was looking through binos, the next I was looking at the ground through side window with a broken ankle.
              You would know this. Do military choppers have recording equipment on them like commercial aircraft and I am assuming military aircraft?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

                Talking about the environmental conditions.

                I really understand how weather impacts flying. The OH-58A had an issue with losing tail rotor effectiveness in a tail wind. I found out, painfully, in FEB 86 when the 58 I was in was doing pop ups from behind trees to find the approaching OPFOR. One moment I was looking through binos, the next I was looking at the ground through side window with a broken ankle.
                That bolded bit could explain things.

                Which is it was the tail rotor that hit a tree.

                Taken in isolation that sentence makes no sense whatsoever.

                But if the winds caused a loss of control of the aircraft then it does.

                Is there no counter measure you can apply in such a case ? Requires you to be of sufficient altitude, right ? otherwise no.

                Which begs the question why were they flying so low. So low as to be snapped by a smartphone. Should have been a dot in the sky.

                Maybe they had already lost control by that point and were desperately trying to control the craft.

                They were flying higher, lost control and then it was do whatever to make a controlled landing. Given the terrain that proved to be an impossible task.

                Bodies burnt beyond recognition. This bit really had people upset

                Just to be clear this was hills altitude. No where near any mountains. This happened in the southern most state of India.
                Last edited by Double Edge; 14 Dec 21,, 18:56.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

                  I never said it was a mechanical error nor a specific pilot error. I simply gave examples of such errors and could go on listing more of them if you want but felt that I had already got my point across without going overboard. Do I need to go overboard?
                  Any examples of losing control of the aircraft in the way AR described ? i think this is what likely happened.

                  I want to understand how you manage such a situation if at all possible.

                  There were no pilots present in the news shows i watched. Guess they could not find any at short notice. We never got a technical explanation. Also the news anchors were wary of speculating.

                  Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                  Granted these pilots no doubt had thousands of hours in the type and should be well trained in IFR flying and well aware of what losing situational awareness is. By the way do you understand how one can lose situational awareness in the fog? You have no horizon, you bank right, the hairs in your vestibular canals report to your brain that you are still flying straight, so you bank more to the right. On and on into a "death" spiral without you knowing. Kobe's pilot probably did that. JFK, Jr. no doubt did that. Your average civilian pilot should never fly in bad weather
                  Instruments ? if you're flying blind that's what you use isn't it. Your senses won't do and as you said would likely lead you astray easily.

                  The fog was thick enough not to be able to see more than four feet ahead. That's what a couple of guys having coffee near the crash site said. They could not see each other at that distance.

                  Couple of things to add here

                  - i don't know if I would call the weather bad. Yeah, it was dense fog but no storm. Not even raining. Eastern monsoons abated by this point.

                  - There was no pressure on the pilot. Pilot had the final say. The general did not countermand the pilot's better judgement. There have been instances in the past where that has happened and senior officer and heli both went down. Did not happen in this case. No urgency. The general was at the college only to deliver a talk.

                  Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                  but I would expect a trained military pilot to do better, much better.
                  Exactly. You have two instances, two years apart and both trained military pilots who could not do better.
                  Last edited by Double Edge; 14 Dec 21,, 18:55.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

                    You would know this. Do military choppers have recording equipment on them like commercial aircraft and I am assuming military aircraft?
                    Negative, they don't. Black boxes are a requirement for aircraft under FAA control. US Military helicopters fall under military ATC and operate under visual flight rules. No black boxes needed. Plus it removes one more avenue where an enemy could detect an aircraft.
                    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                    Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Double Edge View Post

                      That bolded bit could explain things.

                      Which is it was the tail rotor that hit a tree.

                      Taken in isolation that sentence makes no sense whatsoever.

                      But if the winds caused a loss of control of the aircraft then it does.

                      Is there no counter measure you can apply in such a case ? Requires you to be of sufficient altitude, right ? otherwise no.

                      Which begs the question why were they flying so low. So low as to be snapped by a smartphone. Should have been a dot in the sky.

                      Maybe they had already lost control by that point and were desperately trying to control the craft.

                      They were flying higher, lost control and then it was do whatever to make a controlled landing. Given the terrain that proved to be an impossible task.

                      Bodies burnt beyond recognition. This bit really had people upset

                      Just to be clear this was hills altitude. No where near any mountains. This happened in the southern most state of India.
                      Most of this is totally incorrect in my case.

                      1. We did not hit a tree...we were a treeline as a screen and popped up from behind it. We were hovering in an open field.

                      2. We were operating in a scouting mode. Scout aircraft hug close to the ground to minimize detection and engagement from air defense assets. Also a tank main gun can take down a helicopter as well...not to mention a .50 caliber machine gun.

                      3. The OH-58A was due to be turned in an upgraded to OH-59C status which corrected the low power issues for the tail rotor in the OH-58A aircraft. It was from the division cavalry squadron's air cavalry troop. The divisions attack and general aviation battalions were in the midst of their OH-58C conversion when this occurred.

                      4. The countermeasure was to apply power...which would likely have put us into the tree line. As it was we fell 15 feet and landed on its side. That is how I broke my ankle.

                      5. For the last 20 years US aviators have thought that helicopters need to fly at a high altitude to survive. That is because the threat was automatic weapons fire. And entire generation of our aviators believed fly high to survive. In large scale combat operations aircraft need to get back down to the deck to survive. This is a skill which needs to be relearned.
                      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                      Mark Twain

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post
                        Your average civilian pilot should never fly in bad weather but I would expect a trained military pilot to do better, much better.
                        Originally posted by Double Edge View Post
                        Exactly. You have two instances, two years apart and both trained military pilots who could not do better.
                        How do you train for bad weather? Let me rephrase that in a context you would understand. How do you lean to drive in a white out snow blizzard?

                        Chimo

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post

                          How do you train for bad weather? Let me rephrase that in a context you would understand. How do you lean to drive in a white out snow blizzard?
                          Well commercial airlines train their pilots to avoid bad weather if possible. OTOH civilian pilots when presented with bad weather along their course they can't avoid would probably be better off staying overnight in a hotel. However, NOAA does train their hurricane hunters to fly into bad weather that everyone else would automatically steer clear of.

                          As to me learning how to drive in a white out. I would need to know my car, my planned route, expected hazards on the road, my survival equipment, up to date weather forecast to start with after a few laps around a track to test my skills in driving straight. However, my natural tendency as a driver would make me avoid the inclement weather and instead sit by your warm fire place drinking a shot...

                          Comment


                          • The point is you cannot train for bad weather without bad weather present. And NOAA pilots do not train for hurricane. Newbies co-pilot with experienced pilots. In these cases of these helos, there is zero ways to train for sudden down drafts in a simulator, resulting in zero gs and your first instictive reaction is to control your bladder. You don't exactly have 1000s of feet of free fall to gain control of your helo. What's more, these bad weather scenarios don't happen that high. It's a lot closer to the ground where updraft and downdrafts caused by the terrain.

                            In short, I doubt very much any military pilot would have hands on training in controlling downdrafts and updrafts. To have such training, you need predictable updrafts and downdrafts with enough safety margin that allows pilots to make mistakes and recover. I cannot think of one single environment that would be such a case. The best you can do is book education and computer simulation but that does not replicate the full scale positive and negative g's that is inherant in these accidents.
                            Chimo

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post

                              How do you train for bad weather? Let me rephrase that in a context you would understand. How do you lean to drive in a white out snow blizzard?
                              Since you mentioned it the Mi-17 is able to handle -30 -40 degrees C blizzards in Siberia. So going down in the picturesque if at the time foggy Nilgiris hills is unacceptable.

                              It has collision avoidance equipment.

                              That's the trouble with this topic, can't fault the aircraft, can't fault the pilots



                              White snow out blizzard. My one experience was getting to an office retreat in the French Alps. We just stopped the car and waited for the snow to recede. Hazard lights on. Too dangerous otherwise going up a mountain.
                              Last edited by Double Edge; 15 Dec 21,, 16:42.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

                                Most of this is totally incorrect in my case.
                                You were on to something when you said loss of control due to wind. This comes closest to explaining what might have happened.

                                But people will challenge it. They will ask how can a gust of wind disable a military grade helicopter.

                                One that is designed to hover, hug ridge lines, tree lines and do pop ups.

                                The controls on this aircraft dwarfs anything you can find in the civilian world.
                                Last edited by Double Edge; 15 Dec 21,, 09:38.

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